Wednesday, 8 July 2015

Book Review: The Secrets of the Dark (The Saga of Agni)

Book: The Secrets of the Dark (The Saga of Agni)
Author: Arka Chakrabarti
Publisher: Srishti Publishers
Genre: Fantasy/ Fiction
Pages: 342
Price: 195 INR

Blurb: Is one born with his destiny or does he forge it?
 In the mystical land of Gaya, two prophecies bind the fate of men and empires alike. The Destroyer born from the royal seed on the Land of the Setting Sun shall bring the empires down, or so has been foretold. 
In between the Destroyer and the world stand the Seven Guardians of Gaya, guarding the realm of man. A king, a father, defies the Seven and fate itself to save the last drop of his blood and prince Agni grows in the Land of the Rising Sun, exiled from his own people, unaware of his past. 
Losing the woman he loved most to the shadows in the dark, Agni is thrown into a whirlpool of events that he neither knows, nor understands. His quest for vengeance brings him to the doorstep of a secret that will shatter the very foundation of beliefs of a world. 
Can Agni avert his destiny? Can he uncover the truth about the Seven and the prophecies, now hidden behind a veil of ignorance? 
The secrets of the dark are sometimes so terrible that they are better left unsaid.

My Rating: 4/5

My Review: 

The Secrets of the Dark is the first book in The Saga of Agni series and as eminent from the title, the book deals with innumerable secrets, prophecies, mysteries that would provide you with frequent doses of thrills from page to page.

A great thriller is the one which manages to keep you on your toes and author, Arka Chakrabarti has penned an extremely successful book in this regard. As you turn the pages of the book, the story becomes more and more gripping and you find yourself lost in the fictional land of Gaya, which is divided into two continents: The Land of the Rising Sun and The Land of the Setting Sun. 

The story begins with Agni's birth, the hero of our story who is born in the Land of the Setting Sun in a kingdom called Athena to King Arkansas. According to tradition, a son is never allowed to born in the Land of the Setting Sun as according to a prophecy, the Destroyer would be born in the Land of the Setting Sun and would grow up in the Land of the Rising Sun. Due to this prophecy, no prince is permitted to live as the Abode of the Seven lives in the fear of the emergence of the Destroyer. As you can guess, Agni is that Destroyer, who survives as his father, King Arkansas sacrifices his life to protect Agni from the Abode of Seven. 

This prophecy would surely remind readers of the life of Lord Krishna who was born in one place and allowed to grow up in another, due to a similar prophecy. It can be clearly understood that the author has been highly inspired from mythology and folklore which helped him to weave this intriguing tale. 

Coming back to this tale, Agni grows up in Himadri, which is located in the Land of the Rising Sun under King Adhirath and Briksha, the merchant. Agni's best friend is Vrish, Briksha's son and the love of his life is Malini, Briksha's daughter. His life is filled with bliss and serenity until the day a tragedy occurs, taking away the lives of Briksha and Malini in a flash. Just before Malini closes her eyes forever, she gives a hint to Agni about her killer. And thus, Agni embarks on a difficult journey to find the murderer of Malini and Briksha. 

There are several twists and turns in the book which would leave you speechless. Especially the last few pages of the book are nail biting. The best part of the book is undoubtedly the climax, which leaves the reader thrilled, satisfied and happy. The second best thing are the characters in the book which would stay with you, even after you finish reading the book. The characters of Agni, Vrish, Yani, Lysandra and Prince Drake are brilliantly sketched. The language is lucid and the flow of the story is smooth.

On the flip side, there are times when the pace of the book gets a little slow, especially in the first half of the book but nevertheless the book gains its momentum as it progresses. 

Here are some quotes from the book which I found very impressive:

There is a thin line between right and wrong and sometimes it is blurred. That leaves the one in a predicament.

"When you are facing one enemy, how many are you facing and whom do you need to defeat first?" the voice was ringing in his ears.
"Two, and firstly I must defeat the fear in my heart." whispered Agni to himself and there was a smile on his face.

If you love fantasy and if you are fond of thriller, then this is a perfect book to laze around in the monsoons with a steaming cup of coffee.

P.S. I just started with the next book in the Saga of Agni series, Rise of the Grey Prince. Will post the review soon.


  1. It’s notable the way you presented the book, Purba. The story indeed seems captivating. I’m always fond of book with good character sketches, because it provides me the opportunity to peek inside author’s mind through his characters, and your review confirms that the chances are good here.

    Liked your approach of using body language signs to put emphasis & get the readers hooked. It’s the sign of a good writer.

    Have all the books of the series published? I can’t wait long for the end; so I start to read a series, when the last book is available in market. :)

    1. Thank you so much Ravish for all your kind words. The book is really very captivating.
      No, the first 2 books of the series are published and the author is working on the 3rd book right now.
      I also often face a similar problem but however, I am enjoying reading 2 books of the series back to back :)

  2. It seems mythology weaved into a thriller story is the in-thing these days...and all the Indian authors in this genre are busy churning out great stuff. Purba, the book seems to be a riveting tale of revenge and justice. Worth a read I believe.

    1. Rightly said, Bushra.
      The book is really very captivating :)

  3. would like to read this book :) thanks for review didii :)

    1. Thank you, Sachin. As you like fantasy novels, I am pretty sure that this one will impress you :)


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